Take two fun couples, add in a rental car, a handful of B&B vouchers, and a spirit of adventure, and what do you get? One amazing trip to Ireland!
Here is the synopsis of our trip! Sorry it took me so long!
Day 1 – Dublin – we arrived at 5am, and our room was ready for us around 9am. After a quick nap and lunch, we wandered around the city, saw Trinity College and the Book of Kells, and then explored the shopping and pubs. The Hotel Alexander was very nice, centrally located, and clean and basic. The breakfast buffet was just ok. But the front desk staff was great – they gave us maps and recommendations, let us use the front desk computer (because the business center was down), and called to make our first B&B reservation.
Day 2 – Dublin – Hop on/Hop Off bus. We set out about 10am, and managed to hit the Guinness Brewery, Jameson Distillery, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and do some wandering around on our own. Overall, Dublin was not my favorite place. It was nice, but seemed like just any regular city. We would return there, as there was plenty of things that we didn’t get to experience.
Day 3 – got the rental car, decided to head north towards Leitrim (where my family comes from). We picked a random B&B from the book. Took us about 2.5 hours to drive there. The northern part of Ireland is absolutely gorgeous… and I think sometimes forgotten. There is not much there, but the scenery/landscape was worth it for me. It has an untouched natural beauty to it. Or first (and favorite) B&B was in Sligo Town. The TreeTops B&B was fabulous. Absolutely immaculate, and the woman owner was soooo friendly and accommodating (and the breakfast was great!). She even recommended our driving route to Galway and not only referred us to our 2nd B&B, but called to make the reservation for us!
Day 4&5 – drove from Sligo to Galway. We stayed 2 nights at the Ross House B&B (which was about at 10-15 minute walk to city center). Galway was, by far, my favorite city. The B&B was very nice. It was situated on side street between the beach and city center. I would absolutely recommend it. Sarah (the owner) was also an amazing cook. Galway is so fun, young, and friendly!
Day 5&6 – We drove through the Burren and saw the Cliffs of Moher (AMAZING!). We stopped at a B&B in Tralee, (so we wouldn’t have to drive in the dark). The Glenfort House was basic. Not quite as clean or friendly as the others, but it did the trick. ** The 2 best pieces of advice we received about driving around Ireland – 1. Skip the ring of Kerry if short on time. We were told the Dingle Peninsula is shorter and more scenic. Definitely worth it. And 2. Take the car ferry from Kilimer to Tarbert (cost about 18 Euro per car) and is only about a 15 minute ferry ride across the River Shannon. This probably cut several hours off the driving time.
Day 7&8 Kent House B&B in Cork. This one was picked at random out of our B&B book as well. Town house style B&B, that was set up more like at hotel. Modern décor, in a very old town home. It was about a 10-15 minute walk to city center.
Our final day at Dromoland Castle was amazing. Absolutely perfect ending to the vacation. The atmosphere, accommodations, and grounds were beautiful. We took advantage of the complimentary bicycle rentals to tour the entire property – and I’m so glad we did!! And Matt & Gabby hit some balls at the driving range.
The weather was great the whole time. We had 2 days of solid pouring rain, but overall, the temperature was mild – about the same as here. And booking the B&Bs on a day to day basis was FAR less stressful than I thought it would be. Most of the B&Bs had wifi internet access, which we were able to use through our cell phones. I have never stayed in a bed & breakfast before, and Ireland just set the bar. I would absolutely consider it again. Although, Just a warning that when the B&B book says something is a 5 minute walk to city center, it’s usually closer to 10-15 mins 🙂 But taxis are very easy to get in the bigger towns like Galway, Cork, and Dublin.
Overall, there is a lot more to Ireland that we would love to see… but this was a great start, and we can’t wait to go back!! Thank you sooo much for planning this vacation for us!!! Everything was wonderful!
Let me know if you want any additional information!